The LGBTQ+ Pride Progress Flag: A Historic Symbol of Community


To the Editor,

The choice of the rainbow in the form of a flag can be found historically in many facets of international history. 

For example, the Rainbow flag is referenced in the Bible when God used the rainbow as a sign to Noah that there would never again be a worldwide flood, also known as the Rainbow covenant [Genesis 9 13].

The rainbow flag of Cusco was used in Peru starting in 1973.  The flag symbolizes the Inca community of Cusco and reflects the community and traditions of the Incan people [].

The PACE flag (Italian for Peace) is a rainbow flag in Italy that was first used in a peace march in 1961.  The flag continues to be used today internationally as a symbol of the peace movement.  It was also used again in Italy in the peace movement that protested the war in Iraq [].

And there are many other historical references to rainbow flags used to represent communities, nations and values. The original flag of the LGBTQ+ community, aka the “Gay Pride” flag has been a symbol for the gay community since its inception in 1978 when it was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 at the request of Harvey Milk, the first Gay politician of San Francisco, who was later murdered for being Gay.  The colors of the Gay flag are represented as follows; Red: Life, Orange: Healing, Yellow: Sunlight, Green: Nature, Blue: Harmony/Peace, Purple/Violet: Spirit.   In 2017, a brown and black stripe was added to symbolize people of color in the LGBTQ+ community.  In 2018, the “Progress Pride” that we currently use today was designed by Daniel Quasar.  This new flag includes the black and brown stripes of our BIPOC community and also the blue, white and pink colors of our trans community [Boggs, Jada, June 13, 2023) and Foreman, Matt (September 20, 2022)].

In a recent letter to The Cricket, a Manchester resident expressed her “concerns” about the Pride flag being flown “on our Town Memorial” [The Manchester Cricket, Friday, May 31, 2024, pg. 4]. 

The definition of the word memorial is defined as, “A memorial is a service or statue dedicated to someone who died.”  The resident continues to note the location of the Pride Progress Flag at the “Town Memorial” six times in the letter.  As has been clarified by our Town Manager at the meeting of the Select Board every year responding to the application made to fly the Pride Progress Flag at its location during the month of June, the flagpole is a Town-owned flagpole, and the structure surrounding the flagpole is an Honor Roll of those from Manchester who entered into military service, and not a memorial.

In summation, the author of the letter also asks in the letter for a solution to relocate the Pride Progress flag “that respects both the wishes and legacy of our veterans.” 

As a United States Army Veteran and Past Commander of the American Legion Post 119 in Manchester, whose name is inscribed on that Honor Roll along with other LGBTQ+ persons who have served our country from this town, I would have to disagree with the author’s request.

As history has shown us, the Rainbow Flag has historically symbolized Community, Pride, Peace, Tradition and Harmony.  So, I ask that we continue the tradition of the flying of the Pride Progress flag for the month of June at the place of honor in front of the building that represents our town’s government to symbolize those same historic values of Community, Pride, Peace, Tradition and Harmony and let members of the LGBTQ+ community know that Manchester By-the-Sea is a welcoming town for all. 

Thank you,

Hope Watt-Bucci